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Our Fight to Keep the Law Free

“Beyond doubt, state laws are not copyrightable.”
Supreme Court of the United States
Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org (2020)
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Update: Read about the recent Decision in this case and the new lawsuit ICC has brought here.
There are organizations trying to copyright the law.

These are laws that every American has to follow or face civil and criminal penalties. It's not just architects, engineers, and builders, but even homeowners and small business owners.

One such organization trying to copyright the law is the International Code Council (ICC). They brought a lawsuit against UpCodes, trying to force us to take down open access to the law.

UpCodes is using AI to make compliance easier and cheaper. This will result in safer and more affordable housing. Open access to the law is an important part of reaching that goal.

UpCodes will defend Americans' constitutional right to read their own laws and our ability to innovate in the space.

Background

The ICC convenes committees of volunteers made up of government officials and industry professionals to write base codes. ICC then lobbies state and local governments to enact these codes into law.

Once enacted into law, ICC publishes these codes in books and makes tens of millions of dollars in revenue each year for access[1]. This process allows them to profit by monopolizing access to the law.

What UpCodes has done to help

UpCodes provides free, unfettered access to the laws. We’re introducing new tools to the industry on top of the free access.

We look to equip professionals who design our cities as well as homeowners to better navigate these important laws.

In the case of UpCodes AI, we are looking to catch code errors upstream by scanning 3D digital models of buildings. These are the tools needed to keep up with the growing complexity of codes and to keep our apartments and homes affordable and safe.

How you can help

If you would like to help, please help spread the word about UpCodes with your colleagues and friends — both our service and our fight to keep the law free. It’s important Americans know that their right to read and speak the law is under attack.

Follow us on Twitter here and share on social media to spread the word. TechCrunch had a great summary here.

The Future

Building codes are essential for keeping our buildings and cities safe. However, in order to create safer cities, we need new technology to empower professionals, business owners, and residents to follow these laws.

Check back for updates!

F.A.Q.

Further reading

Read our full Motion for Summary Judgement here. (Note: we are required by the court to redact certain confidential parts)



Have a question you don't see? Want to share a story about your experience in this space? Drop a us a line here.